Brilliant school business leader wins prestigious UK award for outstanding work

By Jill Dando News

Helen Burge of The Priory Learning Trust in Somerset was awarded the Institute of School Business Leadership’s CEO Award for Exceptional Contribution to School Business Leadership. 

The annual award was presented to Helen due to her outstanding work across the country supporting other school business leaders and regional groups during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Helen has been Deputy Chief Operations Officer for TPLT since February 2019, initially as a part time role alongside her School Business Leader role at St Anne’s Church Academy (where she is pictured above).

Her input as part of the strategic leadership team has been invaluable since her appointment as TPLT continues to go from strength to strength.

Helen said: “I’m really delighted to receive this award which was a lovely unexpected outcome after a rather unsettling 2020. 

“I love working across TPLT, supporting the Operations Teams within each school, as well as developing the next generation of school business professionals.” 

Neville Coles, CEO of TPLT, (pictured) said: “This award is thoroughly deserved. Helen’s business leadership work is outstanding, and she goes the extra mile with huge dedication.”

Outside of TPLT Helen leads Somerset School Business Leaders, a regional network group. 

During the first lockdown she organised virtual training for SSBL members. Her work led to the creation of a virtual learning bank of sessions by different trainers and speakers. These seminars are now recorded and available on the SSBL website and the websites of other regional SBL groups. 

Helen is also an advisory panel member for ABBLed – a new network group which is working to promote diversity amongst the SBL profession. 

The schools in TPLT are Worle Community School Academy, Priory Community School Academy, The King Alfred School Academy, St Anne’s Church Academy, Castle Batch School Academy and Pawlett Primary School Academy.

If you would like to find out more about this interesting part of school life please contact @DeputyCOOatTPLT